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England and Wales Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) Decisions >> May, R v  EWCA Crim 2788 (7th December, 2001)
Cite as:  EWCA Crim 2788
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IN THE SUPREME COURT OF JUDICATURE
COURT OF APPEAL (CRIMINAL DIVISION)
|Royal Courts of Justice|
London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
MR JUSTICE BUCKLEY
MR JUSTICE GRIGSON
Susan Hilda May
Smith Bernal Reporting Limited, 190 Fleet Street
London EC4A 2AG
Tel No: 020 7421 4040, Fax No: 020 7831 8838
Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
Mr Anthony Morris QC and Miss Rachel Smith (instructed by CPS for the Crown)
AS APPROVED BY THE COURT
Crown Copyright ©
LORD JUSTICE KENNEDY :
Emergence of Prosecution Case against Appellant
“As she got near her ‘aunty’ she could see blood on her face, blood on the pillows and thought she had something around her neck. May states that she did not go any nearer nor did she touch anything.”
“To enquire into the family background of the deceased re possible motives for a domestic murder.”
“Do you know the scratches on my aunt’s face, can they get stuff from down your finger nails at forensic?”
“There is significant evidence to suspect that Susan May has murdered her aunty. The SIO instructs that she be arrested and interviewed on Thursday 26th March 1992.”
The Case at Trial
(1) the evidence in relation to the marks on the wall:
(2) the evidence of burglary which, the prosecution contended, was faked:
(3) the remark about scratches allegedly made to Detective Sergeant Rimmer:
(4) lies admittedly told in interview about financial matters, and about the appellant’s association with Christopher Ross:
(5) lies allegedly told by the appellant when giving evidence about conversations she had with Mrs Oakley and PC Roberts soon after the murder, and about her conversation on 18th March with Detective Sergeant Rimmer. PC Roberts had been instructed to take the appellant home on the morning of 12th March 1992, and, according to the officer, the appellant said she felt awful because in her final encounter with the deceased she had been cross with her. When PC Roberts gave that evidence she was challenged, and Mrs Oakley (the neighbour to whom the appellant had gone on the morning of 12th March and who happened to be in court) volunteered that the appellant had said something similar to her. In evidence the appellant maintained that both woman were mistaken, but, as the trial judge pointed out, if those remarks were made they were perhaps more indicative of innocence than guilt.
“I suggest, ask yourselves whether, as a matter of sensible inference, you can or cannot conclude that really it must follow that all three marks were put there at the same time and whether you can accept on the basis of Mr Hussein’s evidence that all those marks are blood and, as a matter of overwhelming probability, human blood. Does that appeal to you or do you find more persuasive Mr. Caru’s submission about the scepticism which you should show to conclude that the mark with the hand print is even in blood let alone that it was placed at the same time as the mark by the switch?”
The First Appeal.
Fresh Grounds of Appeal
“(1) The marks on the wall. The principle submissions now advanced by Mr Mansfield QC on behalf of the appellant relate to the right hand mark (MSN14) which, it is suggested, could have been made on 12th March 1992 by someone other than the appellant, and after investigations began.
(2) Statutory protection. It is submitted that in accordance with the relevant parts of the Code of Practice under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 the appellant should have been treated as a suspect at an earlier stage, and that because she was not so treated some of the evidence heard by the jury should have been excluded, including in particular the evidence about what was allegedly said to Detective Sergeant Rimmer on 18th March 1992.
(3) The Police interviews dwelt too much on financial matters and were too accusatory in style.
(4) Motive played too big a part in the trial.
(5) Those originally acting for the appellant did not establish that there was material to suggest the real possibility of an unknown assailant.”
“3 areas poss finger/hand prints in blood. Not heavy staining ... left for F/P people”
She told us that there were three separate definite marks, she had a vivid memory of them. They looked like three hand marks in what appeared to be blood and, she said, the body was still on the bed when she made her note about those three marks, as it is clear from what she wrote on the plan, and below the plan about the position of the body. On that same day she carried out the KM presumptive test for blood on all three marks, and all three results were positive. A limited number of other substances such as horseradish could also give positive results.
Submissions – Ground 1
Submissions - Ground 2
“A person whom there are grounds to suspect of an offence must be cautioned before any questions about it ... are put to him regarding his involvement or suspected involvement in that offence if his answers or his silence ... may be given in evidence to a court in a prosecution”
“A written record shall also be made of any comments made by a suspected person, including unsolicited comments, which are outside the context of an interview but which might be relevant to the offence. Any such record must be timed and signed by the maker. Where practicable a person shall be given the opportunity to read that record and to sign it as correct or to indicate the respects in which he considers it inaccurate. Any refusal to sign shall be recorded.”
“at the beginning of an interview carried out in a police station, the interviewing officer, after cautioning the suspect, shall put to him any significant statement or silence which occurred before his arrival at the police station, and shall ask him whether he confirms or denies that earlier statement or silence and whether he wishes to add anything. A ‘significant’ statement or silence is one which appears capable of being used in evidence against the suspect, in particular a direct admission of guilt, or failiure or refusal to answer a question or to answer it satisfactorily, which might give rise to an inference under Part III of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.”